The distinctive symbol and image connected with consumer mind created by manufacturers of parts contained in the finished products are known as ingredient brands. As a ingredient brand is hidden in a finished product brand, and the consumer experience and awareness is not direct, it is usually more difficult to do the branding of ingredient brands compared with the branding of finished product brands. However, we find out that consumers pay more attention to the " exhaust system” after the scandal of AW-VW’s exhaust system. Is this a good opportunity for ingredient producers to operate their brands? Based on theories of brand crisis and consumer knowledge, we make negative events of finished product brands first the entry point, and conduct two experiments to find out the mechanism of action between negative events of finished product brands and the consumers’ willingness of attention to specific ingredient products related to the crisis.Experiment 1 tries to find out whether the negative events can improve the consumers’ willingness to pay attention to the relevant ingredient brands through the stimulation of experimental materials and questionnaire. The experiment was designed with three levels (negative event vs. positive event vs. no event), and MBA students were taken as subjects. The experimental materials were adapted from the AW-VW’s exhaust event. The experimental results show that under the exposure of negative events (relative to the positive events and no event conditions), people have more willingness to pay attention to the related element (exhaust system) brands, and this is not reflected in the composition of other parts or elements about car. Experiment 2 used different experimental materials to verify the conclusion of Experiment 1, and tested the intermediary role of consumers in the demand for depth knowledge of products. The experimental results show that the negative events group’s demand for the depth knowledge is significantly higher than that of positive events group, and there are no significant differences in the demand for width knowledge. So the demand for depth knowledge indeed plays an intermediary role in the reverse spillover effect of negative exposure of finished products on the willingness to pay attention to ingredient brands.For theoretical contribution, this paper firstly expands the scope and perspective concerning the research of the negative exposure spillover effect, namely the negative exposure has the spillover effect on not only the competition brands of the same country of origin or of the same category, but also along the direction of the supply chain, such as the upstream manufacturers. Secondly, this article uses the theory of consumer knowledge and the maximization of dynamic utility, and proves that the negative events of finished products can benefit ingredient brands in some appropriate conditions. Discussing the ingredient branding problem now has a new perspective and we can research more deeply in this area. It is of practical significance for the suppliers of ingredient products in the process of branding quickly. When such negative events occur, ingredient suppliers can take them as the important opportunity for branding itself, take advantage of the consumers’ attention to ingredient information in the process of negative event communication and respond to consumers’ knowledge demand for ingredient products. Then they further duly launch communication activities, inform consumers how to identify the ingredients in the product purchase and tell them the methods and knowledge about the ingredients, and implant their own brand information effectively in the minds of consumers, in order to build the consumers’ own awareness of ingredient brands ultimately.
Does the City Gate on Fire Benefit the Fish in Pool? The Reverse Spillover Effect of Negative Exposure of Product Brands on Ingredient Brands
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 39, Issue 11, pp. 3 - 13 (2017) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2017.11.001
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Cite this article
He Yun, Zhong Ke, Sun Chengcheng. Does the City Gate on Fire Benefit the Fish in Pool? The Reverse Spillover Effect of Negative Exposure of Product Brands on Ingredient Brands[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2017, 39(11): 3–13.
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